This is so true! I usually hold up the tape and see if I can look through it toward a ceiling light
or lamp (torch). You can also usually see how much pain is coming your way. Tapes with edge warp
will show an uneven tape pack, not true circles around the hub. Tapes that have shrunk or otherwise
come un-packed may have visible gaps in the tape pack. You'll not need to look through a reel to see
what tape-eating mold have done. Usually there's a pile of brown oxide dust in the box and chunks
missing from the tape pack. I haven't found a solution to that one, especially if they've eaten
actual holes in the tape pack. I've only seen that once, on 1951-era Scotch 111 that had been in a
damp basement for 35+ years, stored in a box at floor level. Perfect mold environment, and they
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Marie O'Connell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, February 20, 2012 3:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] offgasing from baking tapes
> Hi Katie
> As a general rule and something quite easy to use when identifying an
> acetate tape, if you shine a torch/flashlight under it and it glows in a
> semi-radioactive looking way (kind of a spooky greenish glow!) then do not
> bake it.
> On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 9:21 AM, Katie Mullen <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Thanks, to both Marie and Richard: good advice. Marie, I wish i has such a
>> Richard: I definitely *don't* want to go down the route of using
>> respirators - much more complicated to do that under OSHA than to use other
>> controls -- and we do have access to a well-maintained fume hood. (And
>> I'mlucky enough to have access to UW Campus Health and Safety to help me
>> out with some of these issues - that isn't always been the case.) I agree,
>> I definitely also don't want to routinely be baking things, especially if
>> they have to do it in the hood - it's ineffcient, it's noisy, it's in a
>> audio lab employee's workspace -- unhappiness all around there! So for now,
>> we'll bake only when we can't play a tape to transfer, and keep an eye out
>> for some of the research I'm starting to hear about that will help us
>> identify sticky shed before it's played.
>> Richard - your response brought up a few more questions for me. One is: if
>> you are reserving seperate equipment for baking moldy tape, are you also
>> reserving seperate equipment for playing it? Our audio archivist and I have
>> only come across moldy tape once since we've been doing this ( a few
>> years), and we we're able to make the decision to de-acession the tape in
>> that instance.
>> Also - I've been wondering about differentiating between different tape
>> bases before baking. Acetate and PET - there are a couple of ways that I
>> know of if it were really in question (using polarized filters, for one,I
>> think - but if there is an easier way, please let me know) - but do we need
>> to worry about ruling out PVC as well?
>> I'd still love to hear other's stories about how they set up this workflow.
>> I'm certainly not enough of a chemist myself to be able to take the laundry
>> list of potentially harmful components I recieved and trace it back to any
>> particular of the makeup of a tape, unfortunately.